Trench warfare, not an arms race
|July 31, 2007||Posted by Granville Sewell under Intelligent Design|
In his new book, “The Edge of Evolution,” (another masterpiece) Michael Behe looks in considerable detail at the struggle for survival between humans and the malaria parasite where, in the last 100 years, the evolution of more organisms and generations can be studied than were involved in the entire natural history of mammals. He finds that natural selection can indeed be credited with some “change”, but concludes
Far and away the most extensive relevant data we have on the subject of evolution’s effects on competing organisms is that accumulated on interactions between humans and our parasites. As with the example of malaria, the data show trench warfare, with acts of desperate destruction, not arms races, with mutual improvements. The thrust and parry of human-malaria evolution did not build anything–it only destroyed things. Jettisoning G6PD wrecks, it does not construct. Throwing away band 3 protein does likewise…The arms race metaphor itself is misconceived…Real arms races are run by highly intelligent, bespectacled engineers in glass offices thoughtfully designing shiny weapons on modern computers. But there’s no thinking in the mud and cold of nature’s trenches…In its real war with malaria, the human genome has only diminished.
In an e-mail, I wrote Behe:
I still insist you don’t need to know any biology at all to have predicted your main conclusions, all you need to know is the second law of thermodynamics: natural forces don’t build bridges, they just destroy them*. But no one will listen to you unless you do know some biology, so I’m glad there are people like you who look at the details and arrive at the same obvious conclusions.
* see, for example, the link here from my 2005 John Wiley book.
Progress in the battle between Darwinism and ID is judged, by both sides, by who has the most Nobel prize winners and National Academy of Science members (they do!), but for me the whole issue has always been extremely simple. It’s not too complicated for the layman to understand, it’s too simple for the scientist.